“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.” Psalm 1:1 (KJV).
This Psalm is one of my favorites. It is one that lingers in my memory. I do not know that I set out to purposely memorize it, but it is there. The collection of the Psalms are words of encouragement, hope, and you see the hearts of the writers of the Psalms.
David is known to be the human author of most of these writings of Biblical poetry, but it is also known that some of them were written by Moses, Asaph, and maybe another one or two. We do know and believe that these are words which are inspired by God Himself. They would not be present in the Canon of Scripture if they were not.
This first verse of the Psalms begins with a “Blessed” or “Happy”. This would be the individual who is fulfilled. This individual does not seek ungodly counsel from others, nor do they go to the ungodly seeking godly counsel.
This individual does not have dealings with the rebellious and wicked; taking a bold stand against immorality. The places where the “Blessed” individual stands is upon the Word of God, in places that lift up the Lord. The place of the “Blessed” individual’s seating is where God is seated.
The ’scornful’ are those who make a mockery of God, and scoff at all who profess Him and godliness. An individual usually sits, comfortably where they live. The “Blessed” individual lives in the presence of the LORD God.
Everyone “Delights” in something. There is something that you can hardly do without, maybe a new car, new house, new suit of clothes, more money, more of anything, that you perceive as good. We can get our hearts set on something, and that becomes our “Delight”.
Gulom of the Lord of the Rings story had his “Delight” on the Ring of power. J.R. R. Tolkein wrote the story, and it shows an analogy of the power of sin in our lives. Gulom had been a normal hobbit until the Ring was found and he murdered his friend, took the Ring, and became a creeping, rock crawling, pale, almost sickening being. The picture is surely that sin will destroy you. To Gulom, the Ring was his “Precious”. That was his delight.
In Psalm 1:2 the Psalmist writes, “But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in His law doth he meditate day and night.” We have been told in verse one what this individual does not do; now we see what this godly individual does.
She/he holds no “Delight” in the wickedness of the world or its things. The heart has been reborn. The more the “Delight” is in the “law of the LORD” the less these things of the world become anything of importance. The law of the LORD is something the man and woman of God delights in. They meditate on it day and night.
To wake up thinking Scripturally. To go to bed at night thinking Biblically. What a wonderful “Delight” it is. The Word of God is more precious than anything this world has to give. DELIGHT IN THE LAW OF THE LORD. Within its pages you find life and eternal life. It will take you to the person of Jesus. Sin will hold no power on you.
“And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” Psalm 1:3 (KJV).
Have you ever noticed trees by streams of water during a drought? Trees on the hillside away from the streams often begin to look a little dry, and sometimes leaves begin to fade, but the trees by the streams never fade in the heat of drought. The Psalmist paints us a lovely picture of the follower of Christ Jesus who stays in, abides in, continues in the Word of God. He/She “delights in the law of the LORD”, and when troubles come they just keep on ticking.
The fruit will keep on coming despite droughts, despite hardships, and even despite the storms, though the storms may cause severe damage. The one who keeps themselves in the Word, the law, the way of the LORD will also prosper in all they do. Do remember that prosperity is not always in things, but peace, comfort, encouragement, love, wisdom, grace, mercy, etc..
Just as the tree planted by the rivers of water is always at the mercy of the stream which flows by so too is the follower at the mercy of the One whose Word we read, hear and practice. We/You are always in His hands.
There is such evil in our world at times. Murders happen each and every day and even in each hour of the day. Some of which we never hear about. There are many crimes done to other human beings, of whom all are made in the image and likeness of God, and by God Himself. He alone gives life, and He alone can justly take a life.
“The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.” Psalm 1:4 (KJV).
We have seen the blessedness of the one who walks with God, and that she/he delights in the law [Word] of the LORD meditating in it day and night; and that this individual is like a tree planted by the rivers of water. Now that is quite refreshing to a child of God; to know that whatsoever they do shall prosper.
There is a somewhat sad statement, yet, a statement that should encourage us as well. The encouraging thing about verse four is that God will judge wickedness, and will not let it go unpunished. The sad thing is that there are those who are “Ungodly”.
The “Ungodly” are those who will set out to oppose all that is godly, righteous, just, and of God. Whether we want to admit this or not they do exist. A few years ago we heard of a group who on a website asks for those who will commit the “Unpardonable sin” to sin against the Spirit of God and forever condemn their soul. The ungodly are those who just completely reject the love, grace, mercy, and cross of Jesus Christ.
These are as the waste of the wheat as it is thrashed. When the winds of life and God’s judgment comes are driven away. May God save those who will hear Him, and believe.
In the first Psalm we see the blessedness of the one who is right with God. They do not seek ungodly counsel, nor do they participate in sinful endeavors, nor try to rule with the scornful or as the scornful. The “Blessed” are those whose “…delight is in the law of the LORD; and in His law doth he meditate day and night”. Those who do this are strong, supplied, and sufficient for all things.
“Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous” Psalm 1:5 (KJV).
The ungodly and the sinner are the same. They are not right with God. Their delight is to do the things that gratify their emotions, thinking, lust, greed, and power. These are ones who will not hardly hesitate to use a friend, sometimes even a family member or spouse, or co-worker to gain what they desire; what they delight in. They certainly have no desire for God. God would be an interruption in their life.
The path of the ungodly and the sinner is that they will not be able to stand before God in the judgment with their good deeds. They will be judged according to their works (Revelation 20:11-14; v. 12), and will not be able to give any reason for their unbelieving hearts. There will be no room for the ungodly and the sinner “…in the congregation of the righteous”.
Who are the righteous? All those who have come to God through faith in His Son Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross, and received the righteousness of Christ and have been raised together with Him, for all eternity.
Sin definitely has a hold on the human race. Why many do not want to see it is beyond reason. One Monday morning at Virginia Tech, in April 2007, we saw the results of sin, and there is only one answer for sin. The life of a perfect sacrifice. And we are not it.
“For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish” Psalm 1:6 (KJV).
Cho Sueng-Hui a student with a visa from South Korea went into a dorm and killed two fellow students. He, then proceeded to Norris Hall where students and teachers were gathered for classes, and shot and killed thirty more, and then, turned the gun on himself. This man does not need my condemnation, nor anyone else. He is condemned far greater than anything you or I could. He is forever in the absence of God’s presence.
Those who have become so encumbered by sin that they follow its call will do almost anything. Let no one say, “I could not/would not ever do what that man did”. You just might. As long as you turn a deaf ear to the Lord; your heart will grow hard, heavy, and madness of evil can easily set in. You could find yourself doing all kinds of evil, that you never dreamed possible. You say you don’t believe in evil. Do not be deceived. You saw it take place on Monday morning April 16, 2007, and every morning before and since that dreadful day. Evil is more powerful than you or I can deal with alone. The end of evil is destruction.
The LORD knows ‘the way of the righteous’; He should because He directs the way of the righteous. The LORD does not direct the righteous to kill, maim or destroy. He directs the righteous to live godly, holy, and sanctified lives for His glory, and calls us to call others unto Him. The way of the righteous is also the way of peace, mercy, justice, love, joy, gentleness, patience, self control. They show forth those things which have been called the ‘Fruit of the Spirit’.
-Tim A. Blankenship